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-   -   Polystyrene vanes (dome modelling) - First message (

arevalo53anos 08-15-2005 05:41 AM

Polystyrene vanes (dome modelling) - First message

As descripted on previous message, following some pictures of the Pompeii oven dome building.
I hope this pictures could bring some help to new builders.
By the way, since I am sending pictures by the very first time, I will send five ones in this message, only to see if I am doing right. If so, I΄ll send more next.
Nice to learn from this group.

james 08-15-2005 08:55 AM


I can't see your photos. You attachment them by clicking on the "manage attachments" button just below here.


arevalo53anos 08-16-2005 09:47 AM

Pompeii oven - Polystyrene vanes
5 Attachment(s)

I resize several of my pictures and I am sending five of it now.
I expect this could be work.
How I said, I have a lot of photos of my oven construction, slab-hearth-dome-door-vent-a lot of pizzas and so on...
If this message works and you believe that my pictures could be of some help to someone, let΄s know that I΄ll send a lot.

Fabio Allodoli 08-16-2005 09:05 PM

Hello. I have been reading and in the progress to start my 42" oven, and like the Styrofoam pictures, like to see what else you have done. I just finished pouring A 30' X 22' X 4" slab with footings beneath the founcaton for a 15'L x 12'W BBq cement block for an outdoor kitchen that the oven frame and hearth is attached to the bbq walls. Pour the entire slab and oven hearth at one time, with 5-1/2" of concrete and rebar. I did not use heat insulation in the lower half of the slab. I live in SoCal and it does not get that cold, plus I intend to double up on the bottom bricks. In any case when I am done I will post the pictures from the very beginning of the project. I do like the pictures for the design of the dome, it makes perfect sence. I have a question regarding the flute, and that is from how far back from the opening of the oven does the the flute begin. I have seen some pictures but they have not been clear, on just how far back the flute is positioned.

Thank you.


james 08-16-2005 11:29 PM


I have been wanting to see if I could help clariffy the terms we are using in the forum. I think for this group, we should use the term "foundation" for the concrete slab that sits on the ground, and "insulating hearth" (or "hearth") for the multi-layer hearth that rests on the the "stand" (typically made from concrete blocks). That might clear up any confusion on terms, and the difference between issues regarding the foundation and the hearth.

The foundation's sole role is to support the oven, not sink into the earth or tilt, and not be pushed up by frost. It isn't thermal, doesn't impact oven performance, and has no insulation. The primary issues are the sized of the footprint (relative to the size of the oven), not being pushed up by frost, and perhaps ensuring that water doesn't pool under the oven (the foundation should slope slightly down to the front of the oven.

The hearth is a different part of the oven, and should be insulated to keep heat inside the oven chamber. That is why the hearth has a layer of vermiculite insulating concrete -- which stops heat from escaping from the oven chamber.

Hope this is useful.


james 08-16-2005 11:33 PM


Great photos. They came through nicely on my computer. Thanks.

Have you posted the dome height elsewhere on the forum? What are the dimensions and what did you use for material?


paulages 08-17-2005 12:13 AM

i would have to agree with james about the importance of insulating your hearth beneath (and around if possible) the thermal layer which the floor bricks sit on. i have had problems getting my floor to heat up enough, even with the 2" of vermiculite concrete insulating the bottom of the hearth slab. i believe this is due to the enormous size of the thermal layer and the subsequent large amount of thermal mass to heat up.

dmun 08-17-2005 03:37 AM

Position of flue
To address Fabio's question about the position of the flue, It should be as close to the oven as possible while still allowing the baking chamber to be completely sealed off with a, say, inch-and-a-half thick wooden door for baking.


arevalo53anos 08-17-2005 06:40 AM

Dome measures and vent pictures.
5 Attachment(s)

Yes, I had posted the details of the oven in the Messages section, including a description of the polystyrene and cardboard work that I believe could be useful.
I would like to said that the dome model with 3/4” polystyrene sheet mounted as showed in the pictures is really strong. Because I shape each vane almost-nothing bigger than the correct measure, the pressure exerted from de sides (first brick row) to the center, lift up the center of the complete polystyrene model in about 1”. I tried to down back the model by stay over with all my weight (nearly 180 pounds) and not only the model resist as hold the position!!!
Then, the oven dimensions are 39” diameter, 19” (planned 18”) height with a 12” by 21’ door.
The complete dome and hearth were building with refractory bricks (using as little mortar as possible), being half bricks in the dome and entire (planed) bricks on the hearth (over the 2.5” slab)
That give us a 4.5” dome wall and a 5” hearth.
In my oven, the slab under the hearth (thermal mass) was isolated from the entire slab by 2” of 8-1 vermiculite-cement (a 42’ slab square under the 39” diameter hearth)
The landing area was made from normal red bricks except by the four first bricks of the vent area that were refractory too (as could be seeing in the photos above).
The chimney will be of normal bricks ending with an 5’ length and 6” diameter terracotta flue.

Next, some pictures showing the vent area. Please, note on fourth picture that the black surface on the lower sector is the door lintel.
I hope this helps.


Marcel 08-17-2005 08:08 AM

No "trouble" accessing the Photo Sec. & "Terms"
(F) <fred_dinapoli@v...> wrote:
> Is anyone else having difficulty getting into the photo section of the
> site? I have gotton a "group error message" the last two days. I can
> get into the other sections w/o difficulty."

(M) I have, in the past, had difficulty posting images, but that was because my file size was too large. Now, I am in the Photo Section and can view thumbnails with no difficulty.

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(M) Because this Forum relies on very clear communication, I want to support James' recommendation that we all use the same "Terms".

James Bierney, the moderator of this Forum, wrote,in part: (Special fonts and colors added for emphasis by Marcel)

(JB) "I think for this group, we should use the term "foundation" for the concrete slab that sits on the ground, and "insulating hearth" (or "hearth") for the multi-layer hearth that rests on the the "stand" (typically made from concrete blocks). That might clear up any confusion on terms, and the difference between issues regarding the foundation and the hearth.
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